Thursday, 14 April 2011

Fever Pitch

There is a line in the Nick Hornby book, 'Fever Pitch', where the author espouses the theory that his relationship with Arsenal was such that the performance of the team was inextricably linked to the way his life was going at any one time. Hornby questioned whether life was shit because Arsenal was shit, or the other way around.

Substitute 'Arsenal' for 'gambling performance', and that is currently how I feel. I don't want to come across as some melodramatic drama queen, but life is hell-bent on throwing forward a few challenges to overcome at the moment. My wife last week, my Dad this, it would appear. I find myself wondering if these challenges would appear so difficult to conquer if the gambling was going well. Would my wife have had a flare up in her eyes last week if I'd been on a winning run? It is a ridiculous notion to consider, even if only semi-seriously, but it does seem that April is to be a difficult month in every respect, and not just those aspects revolving around the betting.

I wasn't going to do a post tonight. I found out earlier this evening that my Dad had been admitted to hospital with the suspicion that he had suffered a stroke. He lives in Ludlow, I live about 100 miles north near Manchester. I'm extremely close to my Dad and I'm torn apart when my mother tells me that he is quite naturally frightened, confused, and at nearly 80, in awe of an acute realisation as to his own mortality. Obviously, I have to get down there, and will be travelling tomorrow.

So why am I blogging at all? This isn't like last week's brief hiatus when I knew that my wife would be fine after the drugs she was prescribed had a chance to kick in. That was more simply taking a couple of nights off so that I could do what she usually does each evening, thus helping her recuperate more quickly and to make Helen's life that little bit easier. This is more serious; this is the sort of thing that as an adult, you know you are going to have to deal with at some point, but dread nonetheless. But when I started this blog, my intention was to show how an ordinary, working bloke with a young family and a full time job, could make a go of making some decent money out of gambling. It was to demonstrate the emotions encountered, the practicalities to address, and the basics needed to do the job. So now that things are getting a little tricky, should it stop? To my mind, if it did, it would kinda defeat the object.

I hope you don't mind me writing so personally, and I am a little embarassed to do so; as I said before, I questioned whether I should post at all. But as I declared at the very beginning of this blog back in January, the intention was for it to be a full account of running a portfolio, warts and all, through good times and bad.

So the blog will continue, perhaps simply out of bloody-mindedness. But I am going to have to adapt it a little. It is simply going to prove to be impossible to post every evening. Tomorrow night, for instance, I will be driving down to Shropshire and when I get there, I imagine my Mum would be a little upset if my attention was given over to a laptop. What I intend to do is post whenever I can, and give an idea as to when I might be able to post next. The results reporting will have to alter slightly too. I will consider how this might be done, but it will probably mean simply recording each service's performance over the period between posts. Details of individual winners, unless outstanding, may have to be sacrificed.

You know, judging by the last couple of weeks you might not think it, but generally speaking, I have quite a straightforward life...

Today's Action

Frankly today was crap and I don't have the inclination to go into the detail.

Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.75pts, -0.484pts.
On The Nose: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
ProBandit: Staked 3pts, -1.577pts.
PJA NH: Staked 4pts, -3.344pts.
Total financial loss on the racing of £219.03.

Thursday 14th April: Staked £305, -£219.03.
Week to date: Staked £1,207.50, -£226.69.
Month to date: Staked £6,824.50, -£1,343.13, roi -19.68%.

Right. Next post I'm hoping will be Sunday night but events may overtake me, so possibly Monday.

Thanks for listening.


  1. Hi Rowan,

    Sorry to hear you are having a bad time. There is always something and nothing worse than concerns about your family. I know those feelings all too well. To be honest there is nothing more frightening for all. If our little blogging community can help in any way then you can be assured that we are here in words and spirit. Wishing your father a speedy recovery and you and your family all the best for the future.

    Best wishes

  2. take your time m8, best wishes

  3. Rowan, i just want to tell you that the way you have handled all of this is admirable. The posts i have read since following this blog i liken to reading a biography. I look forward to reading it every night. It tells the true story of ones life, and has the ups and downs that every story has.

    I'll contribute to the only service which we share that we had running today, PJA NH.

    PJA NH had a total of 6 runners. 2 runners in 3 races. Only one placed, the other failed to do anything worthwhile. Another poor day for the service unfortunately.

    I wish you and your family all the best mate.

    See you back Sunday.


  4. Our obvious advantage that we have over the bookies is that we have the option not to bet when things are proving difficult.
    I was interested to read earlier in the month when you stated that you didnt mind losses early in the month as there was time to recover.
    I disagree strongly with that opinion as my experience tells me that a start such as we had this month usually continues for the rest of the month and i also feel this is the month that the whole of this year has been building up to.
    Huge losses are being built this month completely across the Portfolio spectrum and as i said in the SBC forum (which you disagreed with to a degree) i tend to find when it starts to go wrong, it all goes wrong!!
    On a personal front, i stopped betting a couple of weeks ago and am very much on a "watching" basis at the moment. I have a total loss of 1100 quid which would have been considerably more if id continued, Ive dropped FE and Pro Bandit.
    im staying faithfull to R Vaughan who is in the middle of an 80 point drawdown ( all be it a watching brief for now) as he had the same bad run last year yet still turned a 400 point profit!
    But i definately see this as a new start come May and my only target for this year is to break even
    I dont say that your portfolio is doomed but you have to look very closely at the situation and make some decisions.
    Your family life should come first and i would suggest that you should give it your full attention and put them first.
    There will always be sport to gamble on and new In form Tipsters to make you a profit so when you say that your mind set is that all your bad luck is somehow combined, i feel you should have a break and take stock of your situation and figure out the way forward without the hassle of betting to get in the way.
    Its your call mate and whatever yoiu do im sure you will return to profit before the year end.
    We enjoy your Blog but is the extra pressure of having your betting ups and downs for public viewing just adding to the pressure.
    Put yourself first Rowan

    Best Wishes

  5. My advice. Forget the blogging and gambling for a while. The opportunity to do both will always be there.Give your parents 100% of your time while they need it - you'll never regret it. My sincere best wishes to your parents and Helen and yourself.

  6. good luck mate- I hope he is allright.

  7. Hi Rowan,

    I'm sorry to hear about your dad's stroke. I've been there or thereabouts a few months ago - my dad had a couple of colon tumors that were growing for at least a few years and then decided to burst. Old school, my dad, you have to drag him to the doctor. Anyway, horror times - I'm still out of tears. I did the same thing - packed my bags, stayed at my parents' house for a couple of months and went to hospital to see him every single day. Anyway, he somehow managed to survive (it was a 25% chance - not the best odds) and he's now more or less ready for his first chemotherapy session. I sincerely hope your dad's a fighter as well - in fact I'm sure he is.

    hang in there,

  8. Chaps...I've not looked at the blog since Thursday but was aware of the comments coming through. I'm sure you all know that they are all very much appreciated.

    'Laidback' - you're dead right; family always come first. I will be continuing with the blogging and gambling, but changes to each have been made, which I'll post about tonight.

    Alan - I've said it before and I'll say it again...I don't think we agree on everything, but I like what you say and the way you say it. There are a number of points you make that are absolutely relevant, and your post pushed me into some real soul searching. For that alone, thankyou.

    Skeeve - thankyou for posting something so personal, and I sincerely pray that the chemotherapy works for your father.

    Thanks, all.